“The present state of the world, the whole of life, is diseased.
If I were a doctor and were asked for my advice, I would reply:
‘Create silence! Bring men to silence.
The Word of God cannot be heard in the noisy world of today.
Create silence.’” Soren Kierkegaard
“The most formidable enemy of the spiritual life is self-deception
and if there is a better cure for self-deception than silence,
it has yet to be discovered.” Brigid E. Herman
In our world that is becoming increasingly fast-paced and full of stimulation, demands and pressing global issues, our minds are becoming more and more frantic with the pressure of trying to process the information that is flying at us, and of trying to work out how best to live our lives. I experience this as a sense of pressure on my brain, linked with a gnawing unhappiness in my gut. The more I apply my mind in trying to understand my life and the larger picture of the country and world we live in, the more oppressed I feel inside, and the more hateful and critical I feel towards others and myself. I have discovered that, although my mind can be a useful tool at times, very often it is, in fact, my worst enemy.
In my experience, I have found that the only way to find any kind of inner clarity and peace is through creating regular times of silence, where I actively let go of the thoughts and emotions that bombard me, and surrender to the quiet immensity of the presence of God. I have found that, with regular daily times spent in this way, I have gradually been able to unclench, and a peace that passes understanding gently starts to permeate, together with a generosity and spaciousness that starts to replace my narrow, critical attitudes. After more than 30 years of trying to live a “Christian life”, I have found no other practice that has been as powerful in enabling me to live with some kind of freedom, well-being and open-heartedness.